Portraits of queens past and present will be on display to mark the platinum jubilee | Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Portraits of British queens from Mary I to Elizabeth II taken from private collections are to be displayed together for what is believed to be the first time for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The Armada portrait of Elizabeth I, commemorating Spain’s failed invasion of England in 1588, a rare contemporary painting of Mary I, and Andy Warhol’s richly colored 1985 image of the current monarch are among the Highlights from the free exhibition on each of Britain’s seven reigning queens, held at London auction house Sotheby’s from May 28 to June 15.

Also on display will be a panoply of 50 tiaras lent by aristocratic houses of British and European origin, retracing the history of majestic jewels from the end of the 18th century, when they were introduced into courtly fashion by Napoleon Bonaparte and the Empress Josephine. It includes an impressive 1880s diamond tiara, with ornate scrollwork and foliate detailing, and an exquisite turquoise cabochon and 1960s Van Cleef & Arpels diamond tiara.

The Armada portrait of Elizabeth I. Photograph: Woburn Abbey Collection/PA

The exhibits are part of a Jubilee Arts Festival organized by Jubilee Competition partner Sotheby’s, in conjunction with luxury carmaker Aston Martin.

In addition to musical and performing arts events, speakers will include actress Joanna Lumley, author Michael Morpurgo and historian Tristram Hunt.

An exhibition of rare manuscripts will feature the death warrant of Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland, signed by Elizabeth I and sealed with his privy seal, which is on loan from Alnwick Castle.

A group of three royal bindings for Elizabeth I, Queen Anne and Elizabeth II will be visible from Wormsley Library. These include Archbishop Matthew Parker’s binding for Elizabeth I with her crest on the cover, a Bible embroidered in silver and gold thread with Queen Anne’s crowned initials on the cover, and a Bible from finely bound coronation for Elizabeth II, one of 25 special copies used at the Queen’s coronation on 2 June 1953.

Lightness of Being, a new work offered by Chris Levine
Lightness of Being, a new work donated by Chris Levine. Photography: Sotheby’s/PA

The series of events concludes with a Jubilee auction on June 29, dedicated to the best of British art, from Old Masters to 20th century giants and some of the greatest artists still working today.

The sale will include a new work of the Queen donated by Chris Levine, the proceeds of which will benefit the competition.

“Britain has long been known for its creativity and the Queen has been at the helm of it throughout her reign – both as custodian of a world-class collection and as an inspiration for artists, designers and more,” said Vice President Frances Christie. from Sotheby’s UK and Ireland.

“Her Majesty will become the first British monarch to celebrate 70 years of service, the perfect opportunity for Sotheby’s, with our unique position at the helm of art and luxury, to celebrate creativity in all its forms, art, music, literature, food, fashion and the performing arts.

Details for reservations and other events can be found at www.sothebys.com/jubilee.

Comments are closed.